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June 2004

Decade-old paper among the most influential

ACM SIGPLAN lauds Hans Boehm's paper on Space Efficient Conservative Garbage Collection


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HP Labs Scientist Hans Boehm has been honored by the ACM's Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (ACM SIGPLAN) for a 10-year-old research paper deemed to be one of the most influential of the decade.

Boehm's paper, Space Efficient Conservative Garbage Collection, discusses the widely used garbage collector he co-developed. The paper was selected from among 30 presented at the ACM's Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) conference in 1993, the premier forum in its field. (Read an abstract. Subscription required for full text).

A garbage collector is a system for managing memory, locating memory that is no longer in use and recycling it. The Boehm-Demers-Weiser garbage collector has been widely used in a number of programming language implementations, including GCJ, a compiler for Java; Mono, an open source effort to create a free implementation of .NET, and W3M, a text-based browser included in most Linux systems.

Boehm, who joined HP Labs in 1999, holds a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. He was on the faculty at the University of Washington and Rice University and later worked at Xerox PARC and Silicon Graphics.

He has published papers on topics related to programming language implementation, has chaired several programming language conferences and is the Past Chair of ACM SIGPLAN.

More recently, Boehm has explored Java-related performance issues on Linux/Itanium and begun developing a profiling kit for Linux. He continues work on the garbage collector and recently integrated scalable parallel collection into the collector and GCJ.


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» Space Efficient Conservative Garbage Collection  (abstract - subscription required for full text

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